Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lady Jams

I have a new office.  It's great--mostly because it's nice, new and quiet, and away from most of the activity upstairs.  This all means I don't have to over hear conversations involving clients, (which  depress me) smelly people and burnt popcorn from the microwave.  It also means that on many occasions, I have the entire office to myself--right near the front door, near my car, next to the exit, and across from the bathroom.  Oh, and I also have my own window!  It's pretty perfect and I cannot complain.

Well today was one of those glorious days!  I had the whole office to myself!  Hurray!  It was all nice and dandy at first, but after a few hours of working in silence, it became a little too quiet.  I reached for my radio.  Unfortunately, my crappy old, radio does not get good reception in the building, so I only had one radio station option.  It was the radio station from the  university, and it was the morning segment of "Lady Jams".  Lovely.  I was listening to a combination of tunes sung by only women artists including, Doris Day, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Cher.  It was entertaining, but at the same time I was glad none of my co-workers upstairs came down to hear what I was listening to; it was a strange and bizarre combination of music from the early 1940's to the early 90's.  The student DJ sounded like she was high on something.

After a few hours of "Lady Jams", my radio reception became all together nonexistent.  There is no good explanation of why this happens in this building.  Radio station reception in this building always seems to get "interrupted" along with the heat and cooling system.  I'm either freezing cold, or burning, with good radio reception, or none at all.  (I'm pretty sure this building is haunted-but that is another story I will have to write about at another time.)  In haste, I  continued to search for another station, but came up empty.

I then remembered the cassette tape.  Yes, my radio has a cassette player--it's that old.  This cassette tape had been in this radio un-played for years.  I was unsure if it even worked anymore.  It was a tape I had made from some of my all time favorite tunes.  We are talking about music from the 90's, early 2000's when I still  recorded music on tapes.  There I was newly, separated/divorced, with nothing better to do.  I was suddenly re-living my lonely teenage years.  I was recording sad songs on cassette tapes on lonely Saturday nights, singing along to them in a dark living room.

Yes, those days were hard.  Sometimes, back then the only thing that helped was listening, and making my own "Lady Jams".  These "jams" included a little of Alanis Morrisette, Sheryl Crowe and some Natalie Imbruglia, to name just a few.  They were all songs I could relate to at the time, involving cheating husbands, and jaded love.  As I hit the play button, those years came to live again.  Their words full of memories of melodies  flooded the office and through my mind.  Paula Cole was on there singing, "Me".  It was like opening a lost and forgotten treasure chest to my past.

I went on to the piles of files on my desk, listening and remembering.  I chuckled to myself, and I was surprised that I still new the words.  It's really interesting looking back on those days.  The songs that I recorded at the time reflected where my life was at that moment.  My life back then was so much different than what it was today.  Sure it was sad, and scary back then, but it was also an exciting time of my life.  I was finally "free" from an unhealthy relationship.  I was in control now; no more excuses, no more hiding.  I was on my own for the first time since I was 19 years old.  Everything was different.  I was ready for life to start over again at the age of 31.

Happily, it did start over, but sometimes all I need is a few songs on my "Lady Jams" play list to remind myself where I was, and appreciate that life is good now.  I grew up, and I'm not going back, but I can still remember.

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